Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Review
, 17 (16), R661-72

Evolutionary Explanations for Cooperation

Affiliations
Review

Evolutionary Explanations for Cooperation

Stuart A West et al. Curr Biol.

Abstract

Natural selection favours genes that increase an organism's ability to survive and reproduce. This would appear to lead to a world dominated by selfish behaviour. However, cooperation can be found at all levels of biological organisation: genes cooperate in genomes, organelles cooperate to form eukaryotic cells, cells cooperate to make multicellular organisms, bacterial parasites cooperate to overcome host defences, animals breed cooperatively, and humans and insects cooperate to build societies. Over the last 40 years, biologists have developed a theoretical framework that can explain cooperation at all these levels. Here, we summarise this theory, illustrate how it may be applied to real organisms and discuss future directions.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 216 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback